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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my new design for my suburban honeybee feeder. The neighbors were a little unnerved by the hundreds of honeybees that were visiting my feeder that I had perched on a tall stand in my front yard. This new feeder can either be hung in a tree (and masquerade as a bird house) or it can be set on the steps. I was using a modified boardman feeder last year and had bees suffocating because they could not get out of the single sided entrance/exit. This model had plenty of space on all four sides on the bottom to get in/out. The 1/2 gallon jar is also a big improvement over the 2 cup mason jar that would get emptied in 1 hour. And the 3 sides and lid will keep the sun off the syrup, plus they make it heavy enough that the wind can't easily blow this over. My plan is to add blue or yellow flower decals to the sides to fancy it up, but the bees will have no trouble finding this once I add my couple of drops of Anise oil to the syrup. They seem to be addicted to the stuff.

Hope someone else finds it useful to copy. It's a 1x8 board for the hinged top and back and 1x6s for the sides and bottom.

IMG_1847_zps33fb1a15.jpg
 

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I'd go with a GAL. jar design maybe a one with multiple GAL jars .
I all ways think big when it comes to bees.
But that is a good idea :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks nice.

... but do you need to open feed?
Yes, I prefer to open feed vs. in the hive. I only have one beehive and it's a topbar hive. The division board feeder tends to leak with 1:1 syrup and I have too many drowned bees, even with a float. We expect 60 degree weather here next week, so I will have it outside for the bees to start recovering from this crazy winter. Normal winter for us in Jan would have the bees flying once or twice a week and bringing in pollen and nectar.
 

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I am a hobbyist too and I do not mind feeding the neighborhood bees. I open feed pollen substitute and have been figuring on what to do about open feeding syrup. I was thinking of putting one of my hive top feeders on a solid bottom board. I like your idea too. A one gallon model would be nice. It's easy enough to make up a spare jar of syrup to have at the ready for a quick swap. Have you noticed if the bees stop taking the syrup when a flow is on? They do ignore the pollen substitute when natural pollen is available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am a hobbyist too and I do not mind feeding the neighborhood bees. I open feed pollen substitute and have been figuring on what to do about open feeding syrup. I was thinking of putting one of my hive top feeders on a solid bottom board. I like your idea too. A one gallon model would be nice. It's easy enough to make up a spare jar of syrup to have at the ready for a quick swap. Have you noticed if the bees stop taking the syrup when a flow is on? They do ignore the pollen substitute when natural pollen is available.
I don't intend to feed while there is a nectar flow, since I want honey in my comb and not sugar water (I've already got that from fall feeding, but at least the bees are alive)...I only plan to feed early this spring to get a good build up and then late summer. I hope I won't have to fall feed like I did this year, only because I would rather the bees go into winter with real honey in their hive.

I brought home my new bees in late July last year and had to feed them constantly so they would make enough comb and stores to get thru the winter. So to answer your question, I don't know if they will ignore the syrup or pollen substitute when the real thing is there for the taking. I guess it would depend on whether or not you have any essential oils in the syrup/patty. I've read lots of posts that say the bees were ignoring the plain ole sugar syrup. My bees don't have a problem gulping it down since I add a couple drops of anise oil to the feed each time.
 

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Right, I would not feed syrup once supers were put on. Failed to state that.
 

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I use a double width topbar with a 1" hole cut in it and a 4 pint feeder on top. I put it next to the follower board top up feed in the evening and they have emptied it by morning. I had a very late cast swarm last year and feed heavily through September this way and so far they are still alive.
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I think once I have a few hives on the go though I may switch to open feeding away from the hives.
 
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